This seems like a no brainer but you really can spend more than a full day at Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is so much more than just shopping, but there is of course lots and lots of that. Here is how we choose to spend our time there this year.
We wandered the largest Disney store in the world for what seemed like a brief moment but was probably more like 2 hours. Addie was a little sad to not visit the Bibbidi-Bobbidi Boutique, but we know to plan that expense into our budget for our next trip! They make the little girls into complete princesses, doing their hair, light make-up and princess gowns to the likes that you have never seen. Let’s just say Addie wanted to be a princess more than ever after seeing all the other little princesses come out of the boutique that day.
My children loved visiting the Lego store! Imagine a store full of boxes of every type of Lego you can imagine. Then imagine being able to purchase bricks of every shape and color separately! There are stations you can build Lego men and outfit however you choose; Austin’s Lego men that he built found their way home with us. The kids can also build race cars and race them at certain times of the day as well.
The children saw the carousel and immediately were begging to ride! If you have read my blog, you know my children have a soft spot for carousel rides. It was $2 a per child but adults accompanied the children for free. The excitement on the kids faces was well worth the $4 spent.
Pin trading! If you haven’t been to Disney yet, you have to be prepared to pin trade! It is so much fun for the kids and they come home with some really cool souvenirs as well as lots of great memories! There is a huge pin trading hub at Downtown Disney where you can trade two pins with the huge selection on their pin boards.
Eating! You can’t come to Downtown Disney without enjoying some of the amazing food offered. There is truly something for everyone’s taste buds from the signature dishes served at Wolfe Gang Puck to the Cuban dishes at Bongo’s Cafe to the fun Rain Forest Cafe! There are so many options. We choose to dine at the T-Rex Cafe. The idea of eating with dinosaurs was exciting to the children.
I have to give a huge shout out to Disney for taking care of those with food allergies no matter what restaurant you are eating at. When we arrived and I asked for an allergy friendly menu, the chef was at the table in minutes to start working with me on what our options were for Addie and I. We settled on a half a roasted chicken and it was sumptuous with tons left over. Inside there is a Build-A-Dino, the dinosaur version of Build-a-Bear.
After more window shopping and walking, our day was well-rounded and we strolled down to the dock and boarded our boat back to Port Orleans. It was perfect day that was enjoyed by all. If you are staying on property, you can ride the Disney transportation to and from Downtown Disney. For most hotels, this is the bus service but you can take the boats, better known as water taxis from Port Orleans Riverside, French Quarter, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs to and from Downtown Disney.
Some other not to be missed features of Downtown Disney are Disney Quest, the interactive gaming destination! You can truly spend a full-day here alone! And then there is the fabulous Cirque du Soleil performance of La Nouba! La Nouba has a special spot in my heart because many moons ago, I worked there. Although we have yet to visit as a family, we are hoping to include it in one of our upcoming visits. Any Cirque du Soleil show is one not to be missed!
Even without spending a great deal of money, you be engulfed in the Disney ambiance at Downtown Disney! If you haven’t visited yet, be sure to add it to your vacation to-do list.